Volume IV - April/May
2020-2021 Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais

“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest
in all the details of daily life.”
-William Morris

Would you believe that we are half way through our Kiwanis year? We just celebrated wonderful holidays, Passover and Easter and the spring equinox. We need to celebrate Spring, our families by blood and our families by Kiwanis. Now is the time to renew our determination to help our communities as only Kiwanis can do. Take a look around your community, ask our Key Clubs, see where children need help, start a literacy program. April is child abuse awareness month. There is so much we can do to help!

BUG.  The Kiwanis Club of Bradenton just finished creating a great video for the Kiwanis branded program, BUGs (Bring Up Grades). This is a great time to reach out to your elementary schools to start a BUG program and start working on a BUG program for the next school year. Please see the video link https://youtu.be/D2j3hMTvKmU. The team has worked very hard to get the first video produced and out to the Bradenton’s 3 BUG schools. I think the BUG program can really help us reach more new Club members and help the children. 

GOVERNOR VISITS. My Governor visits are almost all finished. There are only a few Divisions that I have not met with and discussed our District programs and how the District can help your club. Many people have asked me about ICON and DCON.

ICON has been canceled and instead they are having an Education and Leadership Conference to Replace the 2021 Kiwanis International Convention (ICON). The Kiwanis International Board of Trustees declared that emergency conditions will exist through September 30, 2021, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in several other important decisions. The board determined that it would be impossible and impractical to hold a safe, accessible convention for its international membership due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the 2021 board elections will be conducted by the Kiwanis International Council. The Council is the current Governors, KI Trustees and past International Presidents (about 90 in total). 

Joe and I will be attending the Conference in person, mainly to represent the great District of Florida and to work with our own Chuck Gugliuzza in his campaign for Kiwanis International Vice-President. Chuck has ALWAYS voted for what was best for the rank and file members of Kiwanis, he has ALWAYS been fiscally sound and careful with our Kiwanis dues and how they are spent, he is a PHENOMENAL membership generator and it was my GREAT PLEASURE to serve as his Fund Raising Chair when he was the Florida Governor.

The education conference will be offered in Salt Lake City, Utah, for in-person and virtual audiences. In-person participation will be limited and will follow all CDC and local health guidelines. Additionally, the Kiwanis International Board decided to relocate the 2022 Kiwanis International Convention from Manila, Philippines, to a to-be-determined location, after reviewing global health forecasts from the World Health Organization and reiterated its desire to hold a convention in Manila as soon as possible.

FLORIDA DISTRICT CONVENTION (DCON) is going to be in person August 5-8, 2021. I just received my second vaccination and by watching Facebook everyone has received or is starting to receive their vaccination. During my recent Governor visits, close to 75% at my visits had received their vaccinations. (Did you know that Office Max will laminate your vaccination card for free?) We will be following all CDC recommendations at our convention. There will not be any virtual programs this year. Last year we had an entirely virtual District Convention. All of those educational programs are available on our District website. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these seminars. None are over 50 minutes and they are all very interesting. 

Governor Elect Harvey is working hard on scheduling this year’s educational seminars. Vice Governor Sharon is working hard on the Caring Corner. Our Executive Director Melanie is working hard on the multitude of details for our DCON. Don’t miss the fun and the chance for great fellowship in August!

May is traditionally Membership Month in Kiwanis.  May is a great month for your club to host a membership campaign, OR choose a month now that works for your club and begin planning. Search for the group “Kiwanis International Membership leaders” on FaceBook and request to join (or click the link below). Membership Month tips are posted every Monday and Thursday during March, April, and May. 

Art Riley has issued a special challenge to lieutenant governors for May Membership Month! The top 20 lieutenant governors who make membership a priority during May in their divisions will be recognized for their efforts. Each will receive a $75 gift card to the Kiwanis Family Store. The lieutenant governor with the greatest percentage of division growth from May 1-31 will receive a free registration to the Education & Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City along with travel reimbursement of mileage or flight up to $350. Winners will be notified on Tuesday, June 1.

We have much to celebrate as Kiwanians.  Let us go out there and help our Communities! 

“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest
in all the details of daily life.”
-William Morris

Go Kiwanis!

Mary-Lynn Desjarlais
Governor - Florida District of Kiwanis International 
#KidsNeedKiwanis #HelpKiwanisHelpChildren
DCON Registration Opening Soon!
Special Announcement
Vice Governor Election Announcement
Growth in Difficult Times

Hello Kiwanis Family! Shawn Anchor, the author of Happiness Advantage wrote “The most successful people see adversity not as a stumbling block, but as a stepping-stone to greatness.” I’m sure you will agree with me that this past year has been a time of adversity for many, and many Kiwanis clubs are struggling to adapt to meet the growing needs of our communities.

But when you look across the District, you also see that many clubs are thriving. They are growing, implementing new projects, and serving their communities in new and powerful ways. If your club is not already in the latter category, what can you do to change that? The first step is to realize that the need in our communities is great and your club can adapt to meet that need. People are hurting from loss of jobs, loss of family members and friends, and a disconnection from people that they once saw on a regular basis. The key to making an impact now in this new time is to change our mindset to new projects. Some clubs have only done food/goods drives and deliveries. Others feel more comfortable doing some socially distanced in person activities.

In May of last year, I hosted a Webinar about “The New Normal” in Kiwanis. At the time, we had no idea that thousands of people would be dying from Covid-19 ten months later. However, the points are still valid today. One of the shocking points that I learned while researching for the presentation was that while people are struggling, many others feel a renewed sense of service and commitment to their communities. I searched Google for community projects to participate in during the pandemic and I saw article after article that gave numerous ideas for projects to complete safely. What did this teach me? That people are ready to serve. Once your club realizes that you don’t have to wait until after the pandemic and things are a bit back to “normal” to recruit and serve, your club can grow and thrive. 

Feel free to view the webinar here:

I hope to see you at Florida District Convention in August!

Prairy Riehl, Candidate for Florida Kiwanis Vice Governor, 2021-22
Prairy.Riehl@gmail.com  407-900-7779
News From Your District Chairs
Public Relations
NY's Joel Harris offers Florida clubs DCM mini-seminar on Photography
Joel Harris, a professional photographer, PR Chair for the New York District and a frequent ICON speaker, is offering Florida clubs a 15-minute mini-seminar on photography during their DCM. Harris, a member of the Long Island North Kiwanis and a Kiwanian for the past 12 years, is currently running for Governor-Elect of the NY District, 2021-2022.

“One of the keys to obtaining media coverage for your club is good photography,” said Lew Matusow, Public Relations Chair for the Florida District. “This is an ongoing problem I face as I try and help clubs in our District; taking good, high resolution photos that brand the club and Kiwanis properly.
“Joel has a wealth of knowledge about how every club can set up and take good photos that get the right message across in an eye-catching manner. Florida Lt. Governors should take advantage of Joel’s offer. It will benefit the Clubs, the Divisions and the District overall.”

Harris’ first DCM appearance in Florida was as a guest speaker at the March DCM for Division 26. To schedule a DCM photography mini-seminar, contact Harris at JHarris2@optonline.net.
Club Leadership Education
Guess what time it is? It’s election time! Have your club and division held their elections yet? If not, it’s time to schedule them now. Your club’s bylaws state that the annual meeting to hold the elections must be done before May 15th. Additionally, the club must give notice to the members of the meeting at least 30 days prior to the scheduled meeting; that means that you only have a couple of weeks to schedule the meeting. Once you have elected your officers, the Secretary will need to complete the Election Report in the portal so the new Lieutenant Governors can begin to reach out and communicate with our incoming leaders. 

Save the Dates! Club Leadership Education hosted by Kiwanis International will be held live online during the week of July 19th. There will be separate, mandatory sessions for incoming 2021-22 Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Membership Chairs. Florida Kiwanis is encouraging CLE trainers to hold their division-specific training during the weeks of July 24th for Even Divisions and July 31st for Odd Divisions. This training is also mandatory for the aforementioned officers, but all officers and potential officers of a club are encouraged to attend this training together to plan for the club’s success.

Keep an eye out for communication for your local Lieutenant Governor and CLE trainer for the date, time and logistics. 
As you may know, drowning is the number one cause of death in children ages 1-4, and it is 100% preventable. Our KDPP program has 3 Critical Facets: Education, Service and Fundraising. They include layers of protections such as swim lessons, door alarms and other safety devices, learning CPR, sponsoring Life Guard training, educating preschoolers to “Never Swim Alone” and more.

Through your Kiwanis Club and your Key Clubs, you can save children’s lives by funding swim lessons, purchasing door alarms to give to your community, sponsoring education seminars for parents about water safety, and holding fundraisers. Your Key Clubbers can learn to be life guards and swim instructors so that community pools can hold more swim lessons, and they can fundraise to pay for swim lessons for children. 

I was honored to present to Governor Mary-Lynn’s incoming Lieutenant Governors, and in May, I will present to the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club. I would love to be your speaker/presenter at your club meeting either in person or via Zoom. Just contact me, and we can work out a date and time.

Unfortunately, in 2020, 68 children drowned in the State of Florida. To date in 2021, there have already been 16 children who have drowned – 75% of them being under 3 years old. It is imperative to help families understand these statistics, and to help them protect their children. Our Kiwanis Clubs can do that! To follow these statistics, please go to www.myflfamilies.com to see if any of these child drownings are in your county. 

Thank you to all the Kiwanis Clubs who have taken on a Drowning Prevention Program and to those who will do so in the near future. Together, we can all save lives, and I am happy to help you accomplish that.
Well…..half of the Kiwanis year has passed and we, as devoted Kiwanians, should feel very proud and personally satisfied of our successes in providing the many forms of community assistance over the last six months. In addition to all that we do for our communities, we should always remember that our club members are the driving force behind our charitable triumphs.

Club Presidents should continually recognize members who go the “extra mile” in serving their club and community, and the Kiwanis International and Florida District families have many opportunities for you to showcase their efforts.

Honor your Kiwanians who invite five or more new members during their Kiwanis career with a “Ruby K Award” free of charge. “Ruby K Pins” recognize members for inviting new members — from five to 100 people. Further Ruby K awards are given for multiples of 25 over 100. This award is cumulative, so previous recipients are eligible for a new Ruby K when they invite additional members. Applications can be submitted on the Kiwanis International website: www.kiwanis.org

How about awarding a “Distinguished Member” award to individual Kiwanians that meet established criteria that demonstrate special dedication to service, membership strength and Kiwanis education? Distinguished members receive a lapel pin from KI, and again, applications can be submitted on the KI website: www.kiwanis.org

Thank a member who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to The Objects of Kiwanis and mission of Kiwanis International with “Life Member” status. A gold-tone membership card, desktop award, distinctive lapel pin and lifelong exemption from Kiwanis International dues are some of the ways life members are honored.

The above examples of awards and recognition of your outstanding members are offered through Kiwanis International, but your club officers and directors can “step outside the box” and create their own awards for service and achievements. Simple awards like a trophy with the word “Awesome” can be given to that member who served as project manager for a successful giving and/or earning event. Simple Enough!

Remember, a little love directed toward your front-line members goes a long way in the continued success of your club!
Circle K
A Rebuilding Year - Here's How to Help
For CKI, hands on community service and fellowship activities are the primary attractions for members. COVID-19 has dramatically altered these opportunities, and this has had a profound effect on the organization over the past year as colleges have restricted in-person classes and club activities. Whether you sponsor a CKI club or not, you can help CKI as well as your own Kiwanis club. Here’s how.

For sponsoring Kiwanis clubs, your CKI club needs an involved Kiwanis advisor, even more so than our other SLP clubs. Please work to identify Kiwanians interested in being an advisor to your CKI club and a liaison to your Kiwanis club. For more information and resources on what a Kiwanis advisor to a CKI club should be doing, contact me.

For all Kiwanis clubs, invite a nearby CKI club to attend your meetings, help with your service projects, and even plan with you some joint projects. Such involvement will not only help the CKI club to find activities that interest their current members and attract prospective members. It also will show your own members and prospective members an important side of Kiwanis service, while making Kiwanis attractive to CKI members when they enter the workforce and want to continue their community involvement. 

To find out more about where Florida CKI clubs are located and how to contact them, go here.
News from Your Clubs
Division 26
Kiwanians Serve During Covid
The nine clubs in Division 26 made their local news! Click here to read the full article. Kudos to Division 26 on this great Community Service AND Public Relations effort!
Division 22
The Kiwanis Club of East Naples had a great fundraiser to replace old football helmets for Lely High School football team. Excellent work!

The Kiwanis Club of Northside Naples cut the ribbon on three large display cases they delivered for a local elementary school to use to display 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students class projects. Way to make a kid feel special!
Division 10
Kiwanis Division 10 has been incredibly active in the community this year! In October, they held a Kiwanis One Day beautification project by spreading mulch, painting, and cleaning a UCP school's campus. During the holidays, our Kiwanis clubs supported the Wildcats Aktion Club's annual Give Kids a Christmas project to provide toys to needy families. In February, the division raised close to $4,000 to support the Florida Diabetes Camp. 

Division 10 is also proud to be the first Florida Kiwanis division to have every club generously contribute towards the Foundation's Annual Club Giving Program. Several clubs have also received mini grants from the Foundation. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Division Trustee Kathy McDonald, our Kiwanis clubs have been able to support local communities through these projects.
Division 16
The Kiwanis Club of Martin County teamed up with the Florida Kiwanis Foundation to make a $2,000 donation to the Martin County Sheriff's Canine Unit. The donation helped purchase training equipment, tug toys, and special leashes for the police dogs.

The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast sponsors a quarterly "Kiwanis Youth in Action Day of Service", which included building raised gardens, harvesting vegetables to donate to a local food bank, rebuilding gravel walkways, and doing outdoor cleanup.
Division 15
The Kiwanis Club of Bartow decided to make "52 Weeks of Service" their 2020-2021 theme, making a commitment to have at least one member from the club participate in an act of service to the community every single week. And their members stepped up to the challenge - working at food pantries, providing pro bono professional services, cleaning up parks, and so much more every week! Read more by clicking the button below:
Ft.Myers Metro-McGregor BUG Chase 5K
The Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis held the 13th annual BUG Chase 5K run as a virtual format for their 2021 fundraiser raising over $7,500. The race benefited the Fort Myers-Metro Kiwanis Club’s BUG (Bring Up Grades) program and other local club sponsored youth service projects. There were over 100 registered individuals who participated from local race routes to those as far away as Michigan. The race was supported by RunSignUp with the RaceJoy app and was supervised by the Fort Myers Track Club. Race sponsors included Passarella & Associates and Weinstein Wilkes Financial Group.
The run was featured in a two-page spread in the March edition of the Kiwanis International magazine, which is distributed worldwide. The story featured the club’s innovation during the pandemic of switching to a virtual run, and keep up the important fundraiser to help children in Southwest Florida.
Jeff O’Coin of DeLand won overall male with a time of 23:43 and Stacy Vu of Casselberry won overall female with a time of 26:39. Full race results and photos can be found at ftmyerstrackclub.com. Photos from the race can be found on the Fort Myers-Metro Kiwanis Club’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Metro.McGregorKiwanis)
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